The Southeastern Indiana Music Association (SEIMA) Hall of Fame had a big night on Saturday, November 2 as it inducted 11 musicians and educators, one of them Franklin County native Eddie Heinzelman. 

The 2019 Hall of Fame inductees were: Educators: William Switzer (posthumous induction), Gary Holdsworth, Patsy Holdsworth (posthumous induction) and Musicians: Doug Heller, Russell Griffith, Brian DeBruler, Michelle DeBruler, David Lacey, Goose Ingles (posthumous induction), Heinzelman and Nick Ulrich. 

Before Heinzelman's induction rounded out the evening, SEIMA made an important announcement about a project it is currently working on. Randy Garrett, vice president of SEIMA, said the organization wants to encourage young people to pursue a career in music. Garrett said, in the past, SEIMA has honored and preserved musical heritage. 

“Now, we wanted to take it a step further, and we wanted to invest in our musical future,” said Garrett.

Garrett said the best way to do that is invest in the musical youth. The “Inspire Local Musicians Fund” will be made available to apply for in January 2020. The plan is, at the next SEIMA Hall of Fame ceremony, the first recipient will be onstage to perform. 

Another exciting announcement from SEIMA was it is expanding its borders to include musicians from Franklin County. Jim Helms, a former Franklin

County resident and Hall of Fame member, inducted Heinzelman. 

“This means so much you don't even know,” said Heinzelman.

Surrounded by family, friends and former music educators, he began his speech by thanking his grandmother. 

“She saw something in me that maybe I didn't when I was 8 years old,” said Heinzelman. 

His grandmother bought him his first guitar when he was an 8-year-old. Heinzelman grew up watching singing cowboys such as Roy Rogers and Gene Autrey and wanted to be like them. After he received his first guitar, Heinzelman's mother drove him to guitar lessons once a week for several years. 
Heinzelman continued by thanking his brother for introducing him to some of his earliest musical influences, which included Led Zeppelin. By the time he was 13, Heinzelman joined his first band. It was a country band, which at the time he was none too eager to partake in. At the time, Heinzelman was really into rock music, but when his brother asked him to fill in for rehearsal for his country band, Heinzelman was willing to help out. Eventually, after two or so practices, his brother convinced him to perform at a show, and after making some money, Heinzelman decided maybe it wasn't too bad. This first show was at the Brookville American Legion.

Heinzelman also thanked his parents for their endless support including transforming the living room into a practice area. 

Radney Foster, an accomplished musician and friend of Heinzelman, performed with Heinzelman following the inductions.  

“Radney's friendship and mentorship has been priceless,” said Heinzelman. 

Heinzelman concluded his speech with some words of advice encouraging everyone to be themselves, work hard and pursue their dreams. 

“Music has taken me to the stage of the Grand Ole Opry; it's taken me around the world; and it's also brought me back home,” said Heinzelman.